Horse rescue groups succeed in out-bidding others they say are 'kill buyers'

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Several equine rescue groups are teaming up to out-bid so-called “kill buyers” looking to buy up horses to send to slaughter for people to eat across the rest of the world.

The groups are teaming up to rescue dozens of horses that come to Colorado from across the West.

Around 180,000 horses are shipped across the border for slaughter each year, and the groups say they want to do something to stop that.

“A lot of people think that horses are livestock. We don’t really think so,” said Jacqui Avis, with Drifters Hearts of Hope. “They’re up there with dogs. They’re like man’s best friend.”

Terry Allen says rescue organizations raised extra money so they could bid on the horses, knowing the “kill buyers” would bid up the price.

She says some of the buyers buy the horses for supposed tax breaks.

But the rescuers say the horses are bound for better lives if they can be saved.

“They’re going to get spoiled rotten. They’re going to get too many cookies and loving, and they’re going to think they died and went to heaven,” said Terolyn Horse Rescue worker Jax Penn.

Out of 21 horses, donkeys and mules up for auction Wednesday, the rescue groups bid on and won the auctions on 19 of them.

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